So, I've had some folks, whose opinions I cherish, suggest I should post my recipes.
Being a widower, I have the luxury of experimenting with meals. I mean, if it doesn't taste right I can toss it and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. So, I play around with food as a distraction and hobby.
Every once in a while I'm going to put a creation up. You can try it at your own peril.
Take a cut of meat appropriately sized for your family. In the pictured meal I used Top Round London Broil. [I usually buy large portions of meat at the grocery store and cut them up for single portions and freeze them. I find this saves much money and I don't have to shop that often.]
Sear the meat in a red hot skillet on all sides. Place the meat in the oven at 385° to cook for 20 to 30 minutes depending on your preference of rare to well done.
While meat is cooking, chop up squash, onion, cucumber, celery, cilantro. Cook in skillet with Smart Balance (butter if you desire) and a little vegetable broth.
While meat is cooking saute asparagus in rice vinegar and brown sugar. [Note: the taste of the asparagus will be dependent on your choice of how much vinegar and brown sugar. - Experiment. An alternative would be Raspberry infused vinegar.]
I don't know about your neighborhood, but where I live every corner, every intersection, and scattered about the county in the front yards of homes are these signs. They are large signs, sometimes. They are small signs, most about the size of a real estate “For Sale” sign. All these signs have three things in common.
Not one of the signs is proclaiming support for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Every one of the signs contains the word “Elect or Re-elect.” And every one of the signs promotes a candidate for local office. From State Court judge to District Attorney, from Probate Judge to Chief Magistrate, from Sheriff to Count Commissioner, people want to occupy public office.
Tip O'Neill, the legendary Speaker of the United States House of Representatives said, “All politics is local.” That's the essence of democracy. And it is also the most scary thing about democracy.
Here's the thing. I'm not an uninformed person on the issues facing my local community. I know more that three dozen people around here. I know and am known by the Mayor and the Chairman of the County Commissioners. I write a column for the local newspaper and through those writings have met various people.
I'm troubled by those political signs stuck in the ground at every major intersection and in various front yards. What troubles me is I don't have the slightest idea who the vast majority of those people seeking to become my public servant are. And it's not just me.
I said to a friend the other day, “I see you have a sign to elect Jerry Somebody as Chief Magistrate in your front yard. Tell me about him.”
“Oh,” said my friend, “I don't know much about him. Shirley Cramer knows him and she asked me to put the sign out.”
If the election were held tomorrow I'd go into the voting booth blind as a bat. My selections on the ballot would be multiple guess. I'm starting to scare myself.
“All politics is local.” And because it is, and because I'm so ignorant about my local politics, I'm beginning to understand why so many state legislatures are passing such idiotic bills. “All politics is local.” And because it is, the problem with politics today is me.
Well, if you read this blog you know I've been trekking about Alaska with two of my granddaughters. I discovered a few things about myself on that trip. The big discovery is despite my age I'm still relatively young. I can climb mountains, glaciers, hike dozens of miles into pristine wilderness, and do all these at a rate that keeps pace with an eleven and fourteen-year-old.
Don't let the gray hair and the stooped over morning posture fool you. Don't let the often vocalized complaints about hip pain, cramps, and excessive pounds distract you. I'm telling you, I'm still young. I can keep up with the younger generation.
All of the above is fact. All of the above is an accurate description of me. But, truth be told, there are other counter indicative traits I find in myself. Sadly, those traits present evidence that my youthful feeling is just that, a feeling. In fact, I'm ancient. There, I've admitted it. I'm ancient. And I come to this conclusion with the realization I have become a cranky old man. Being a cranky old man, there are things in this world that just absolutely drive me up the wall, that make me want to scream. For instance:
Don't ever call me at six in the morning and when I, groggily answer, say, “Are you awake?” You suspected you knew the answer to that question; that's why you asked it. So, be nice and call me after I wake up.
Don't carry on a telephone conversation, one in which you're speaking loudly and agitatedly to the person you have on speaker phone, especially when the other person is the spouse you're arguing with, when sitting at the table next to me in a restaurant.
Don't ever, under any circumstance, ask me a question and then, before I can get a word out of my mouth, answer it yourself. I'm just a cranky old man and that bothers me.
Don't ask me if I mind if you cut in front of me in the line where I've been standing for twenty minutes. I'm old; I do.
When you come to me and ask for directions to Happy Valley and I tell you to take the Interstate north to the third exit and then … you say, “Don't you think taking Highway 41 would be better?” you touch off the irritable genes that are part of the constitution of the elderly such as I. If you know how to get there just go; don't ask me to tell you how.
When you're my server in the restaurant, don't make me wait for the check longer than I waited for the food. Usually I'm a fairly good tipper; but, I'm old, I can be talked out of it.
Don't even think about about comparing your grandchildren to mine. You’ll lose.
When we're talking on the phone, don't ask me if you can put me on hold to take another call unless you're willing to admit that other caller is more important than I.
And listen up, bird brain. When my granddaughters and I are ready to board the same plane as you, don't stampede in front of them to get on first. Every seat on that plane is assigned, and, besides, the plane isn't going anywhere until my granddaughters and I board.
Well, I could relate more, but I'm a real cranky old man and it's well past my bedtime.
Ranger Jen Linkhart of the National Park Service engages Faith in learning about the Kenai Fjord National Park. Here Faith examines the skull of an Orca.
This will probably be the last post of photos on our Alaskan adventure. Thursday morning we'll spend some time at the Alaska Sea Life Center, and then we'll wander up the highway to Anchorage, where we catch a plane at midnight Alaska time.
It has truly been an adventure. The girls have been great. And every bone in my body is aching. :-)
We've been at Exit Glacier two days. The first day we hiked around the washout from the glacier at its base. We had planned to make a four and a half mile hike up to the Harding Ice Field that day, but halfway up the trail was blocked by snow up to Faith's chest. The second day we donned the proper shoes and climbed up to the top of the glacier, over the glacier itself.
Just got some down time to be able to go through pictures. Here's a few more of the girls going down the Nenana River through Class IV rapids. Unfortunately, we were unable to get shots of the waves completely engulfing Faith, but you get the feel of it from the pictures.
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